Remember that I wrote about the most unfortunate entrepreneur of China exactly a year ago? 

Last year, he was experimenting e-cigarettes, the hottest VC-backed sector in China at that time. The CCTV World Consumer Rights Day gala exposed the problems with e-cigarettes, effectively killing the sector. 

Luo already failed in building a mobile phone brand before that. 

This year, CCTV postponed its gala, usually held on 15 of March, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, Luo did not keep quiet. On 19 March, he announced that he would venture into … live streaming ecommerce. He posted the announcement on Weibo with the following message:

In the beginning I thought it was a zero sum game, without creating any real value. However, after reading a report by a securities firm, I decided to start doing live streaming e-commerce. 

Although I am not suitable in selling lipsticks, I believe I can be quite successful in many other categories. I welcome good brands and factories to contact my BD team luoyonghao2020@outlook.com. Please prepare enough money to be pleasantly surprised. 

In the beginning, my team will focus on:

  1. Innovative digital products 
  2. Good cultural products
  3. Books
  4. Stylish and practical household items. 

We will also insert some good value-for-money daily items and snacks. (If you have any other suggestion, please leave a comment here). 

A bit later I will announce the time for the first session. You are welcome to join. 

If you have never bought anything through e-commerce streaming, that’s because you have never seen what we can do. Even if you do not want to buy anything, you will not be disappointed. You understand …”

Austin the all mighty 

Ecommerce live streaming in China has become as hot as a pot of chili padi over the last two years. The 27 year old leading streamer Austin (李佳琦) boasts more than 10 million viewers each session. Austin also has more than 30 million followers on Douyin (Chinese version of Tik Tok), close to 10 million on Taobao and 7 million on Xiaohongshu

Austin specialises in selling lipsticks but also promotes other items including non-stick frying pans.  He once sold 14,000 lipsticks out within one minute. 

Austin is super hardworking

A full ecosystem has evolved around live streaming, from upstream sourcing to downstream logistics. 

We have a lot of discussions with our friends in China on what really drives the sales. The most plausible answer we have is that people actually go for value for money – the same reason why people in the past did mail orders or TV shopping. 

Will Luo offer the surprise he promised to? Nobody knows until his sessions are live on air. However, one thing for sure is that as unfortunate as he has been, he seems to never be willing to give up.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.